VERSAILLES – The Versailles Tigers improved to 2-1 on the season with a 40-21 victory over Delphos St. John’s in their Midwest Athletic Conference opener on Friday night.
The Tigers used a strong running game with Collin Peters leading the way with 230 yards on 31 carries. Jared Niekamp also passed for 148 yards.
Things did not start out great for the Tigers as the Blue Jays returned the opening kickoff to the Tiger 26-yard line. A few plays later the Jays scored. In less than a minute and a half into the game, the Tigers were facing a 7-0 deficit.
“Delphos is a good team,” Versailles football coach Adam Miller said. “We knew they were going to show up and play hard.”
The Tigers answered right back with two big runs by Peters, who capped the drive off with a 2-yard touchdown run. The Tigers then scored again with 4:11 left in the half on a 34-yard pass to Corey Dieringer.
That was all the scoring in the first half. The Tigers missed the extra point but held a 13-7 lead at the break and received the second half kickoff.
The Tigers looked like they were putting the nails in the coffin at the start of the second half. Alex Wendel had a 51-yard catch and run for a touchdown just two minutes into the second half and the Tigers led 20-7.
The Tiger defense held the Blue Jays on their next possession. Punting from their 15-yard line, Dieringer fielded the punt at midfield, made a couple moves and ran down the sideline to put the Tigers up 26-7.
The Blue Jays never quit, though, and scored the next 14 points, closing to within five of the Tigers with 11:55 left in the game. Tiger penalties and turnovers allowed the Jays to climb back into the game.
“We had our own mistakes that were unforced, and that’s kinda what eats at you,” Miller said. “We got to get those cleaned up.”
The Tigers came out running a faster tempo and drove down the field. Peters picked up a fourth-and-1 play to keep the drive alive. A.J.Ahrens caught a pass, and the Jays were called for pass interference to set the Tigers up at the Jay 14. Peters scored from 1 yard out a few plays later.
The Tiger defense held the Jays and aided by a sack took over at their own 42-yard line. Peters scored his third touchdown of the night with 3:06 left in the game, essentially wiping out any chance of a Blue Jay victory.
The Tigers travel to New Bremen Friday night to face the Cardinals. The Cardinals have never beaten the Tigers. The series stand at 10-0 in favor of the Tigers.